I’ve read several posts over the last few days that have asked: What the hell is a writer’s voice anyway?
Wait, isn’t this just a pretentious phrase people use when they’re trying to sound like they know something about writing? The answer is: well, sometimes. But, I think it’s a valid concept.
Your writer’s voice is essentially the unique blend of your vocabulary phrasing, syntax, flow (often manipulated with punctuation and formatting), aesthetics, and style (including themes, motifs, character development, how you push the narrative forward, genre, etc.) All of these elements combine to give your writing a personalized quality to it. it’s not just what you write, it’s how you write.
Also, on a deeper level, it’s the aspect of your writing that is the essence of you that shines through, no matter what you’re writing about. It’s your point of view (even when you’re filtering it through characters). It’s your signature.
It’s the reason why a million writers can write about the exact same topics, but we can still create a million variations — no matter how subtle the differences.
Your voice is what sets you apart. It’s the one purely original thing you can share as a writer. I think this is why it’s vital to develop. This is not to say you shouldn’t push past your comfort zones, or that you should limit yourself to a certain topic/style. But somehow you have to find a way to make whatever you write “yours”. Otherwise, there’s no reason to go looking for it. There are already tons of other writers who have probably already written about what you were going to write about anyway.
Your voice is what makes the difference.
Everything has been written before… but not by you.